Archive for the 'Anti-smoking movement' Category

15
Sep
08

I think these will sell well…..

It occurs to me that my one man rant against the tobacco prohibitionists (and let’s be real here, that’s just what they are) may get me into hot water some day. People who speak up for freedom usually do end that way. And make no mistake: this isn’t just about my right to smoke a pipe or cigar. It’s about a group of fanatics who have hijacked a legitimate health concern and turned it into a way to expand Nanny Government. The anti-tobacco movement has become nothing more than a group of disingenuous fanatics whose real goal is nothing short of the total prohibition of tobacco. Their moral standing is now no higher than that of the cigarette companies. Anyone who doubts this should click here, here, and ESPECIALLY here.

So it’s only a matter of time until they come after me. I honestly believe that at some time a little old fashioned civil disobedience is going to be needed here. So when the time comes, I thought it might be helpful to have a few items to sell so I can raise money to make bail. Or rather, so that my friends can raise money for me, since I’ll be in jail.

So I thought a t-shirt would be a nice touch. Revolutionaries look cool on a t-shirt. So scroll down and let me know what you think of mine. I think it will be a collector’s item one day.

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Keep going!

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TAH DAH!

14
Nov
07

Still smoking, and proud of it

I love smoking. There, I said it. It takes a certain amount of testicular fortitude to say this nowadays, but it’s just so liberating to say it out loud! I think I’ll say it again: I adore smoking!

To me, smoking a pipe or a cigar is one of life’s great pleasures, akin to a fine whiskey or wine, or a nice cup of coffee or tea. My fascination with the pipe goes back to my childhood, when “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” and “The Lord of the Rings” were among my favorite reading.

Whenever I fill my pipe–perhaps a Sasieni made back in the 1920’s out of briar that was 100 years old back then–with a fine matured Virginia, sit back, light up, see the ember glowing in the bowl, and taste the exquisite flavor, my mind and soul find peace. There really is nothing to compare to the taste of the Virginia, the feel of the warm briar in my hand, and the visual beauty of the finely grained wood. They all combine into one of the most satisfying sensory experiences known to man.

And yet, because I indulge in this pleasurable and completely legal activity, I am basically one step above a child molester in the eyes of the politically correct. In fact, I’m not sure that the child molesters are not held in higher esteem in those quarters.

The ridiculous extremes that the anti-smoking movement has come to is best illustrated by the case of Scott Rodrigues, an employee of the Scots company who was fired, not for smoking on company time, but simply for being a smoker. This sad story can be read here.

Of course, this should come as no surprise, as the Scotts company is run by a martinet named Jim Hagedorn. Scotts employees are urged to take exhaustive health-risk assessments. Those who refuse pay $40 a month more in premiums for their group health insurance.

Using data-mining software, company analysts scour the physical, mental, and family health histories of nearly every employee and cross-reference that information with insurance-claims data. Health coaches identify which employees are at moderate to high risk. All of them are assigned a health coach who draws up an action plan. Those who don’t comply get whacked for another $67 a month.

This is an unconscionable invasion of privacy.

Some argue that smoking drives up health care costs, and that is no doubt true. So do a lot of things. But the only ones who get fired are the smokers. Not the drinkers, not the overweight, not the reckless drivers. Just the smokers. If one is going to argue that health care costs should be the sole yardstick for social policy, then one could logically argue in favor of prohibiting any woman over the age of 40 from conceiving a child, since beyond that age the chances of having a high risk (and therefore, very costly) pregnancy increase exponentially. Clearly, no one is advocating such an odious policy, at least not yet. 28 States have passed laws prohibiting the firing of smokers just for being smokers, but sadly Massachusetts is not one of them.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find this article in the normally liberal Boston Globe. The author, Alex Beam, has a history of being a little out of step with his liberal employers, which is, of course, why I like him. I’m just amazed he’s managed to keep his job this long.

I was so impressed with this article that I have added a link to Dr. Siegal’s blog over there on the right. Just click the blue caduceus to read how one brave physician is putting his career on the line by standing up to the politically correct anti-smoking radicals.

Now, without further ado, I am going to shut off this blasted computer, fill my Sasieni Four Dot (that’s a pipe, for the uninitiated) with Dunhill Aperitif, fill a glass with Old Bushmill’s, and continue reading my Conan Doyle.

-smith

23
Jul
07

Call your Congressmen now!!

I’ll get right to the point here: the U. S. Senate is contemplating a bill which would raise the tax on premium cigars from 5 cents per cigar to a whopping $10 per cigar! That is an increase of 20,000%!! Taxes on other forms of tobacco would be similarly affected. Once again the federal government is exploiting the tobacco industry’s status as the lawmakers’ favorite whipping boy.

I would urge anyone who enjoys fine cigars or pipe tobacco (and believe me, there are still millions of us around) to contact their Senators and Congressmen. You can find your Congressman by clicking on this link. You can find your Senators here.

You can read an article about this here. And you can read an excellent post on the ramifications of this, written by one of WordPress’s finest bloggers, here.

Tobacco taxes have been our lawmaker’s favorite new toy for some years now, because the dilemma if you’re a politician is always how to raise taxes without jeopardizing your political future. Raise the tax on gasoline or alcohol, and you face banishment to the Dreaded Private Sector. The very thought sends shivers down your spine.

But the wonder of the tobacco tax is that it can be employed over and over again, for two reasons. First, smokers themselves have become a politically impotent minority. To be blunt, no one gives a shit about the smoker or his or her rights. Secondly, these debates are always framed around that obnoxious catchphrase, “it’s for the children”. Liberal gasbag Max Baucus (D-Montana) came out with this beauty: “When given the choice between standing with big tobacco companies and standing with kids, I stand with America’s children.”

Gee, Max, Americans are SO relieved to hear that you’re not standing against the children. After all, anybody who opposes these tax increases must be against the children, right? And so they just keep using this risk free means of raising taxes, over and over and over again. Harry Potter himself could not contrive anything more magical for the tax hungry politician.

But everyone seems to forget two things. First, it makes no sense to fund social welfare programs by taxing an industry out of existence, particularly when that industry has historically produced trillions in tax revenues.

Second, if the tobacco industry is taxed out of existence, the government will have to replace that lost tax revenue somehow. And if they can take my pipe and cigar away from me today, they can take your little pleasure away from you tomorrow.

Think about it.

–Smith




taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood" ~ Dr. John H. Watson ************************
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A Boston University Physician exposes the fallacies of the anti-smoking movement.

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